Monday, December 22, 2014

Preparing for Christmas: Lights

While we didn't actually do Christmas lights on our house this year we did go see a lot of lights!

Denver does a great job of helping get everyone in the Holiday spirit.

Since the weather was really mild we decided to go to the Parade of Lights downtown. My pregnancy brain was in full force and I didn't even think about how bad traffic would be to go downtown and find parking... So after already leaving about 45 minutes later than I planned, it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to get there.

We still managed to catch about 20 minutes of the parade, which probably worked out just as well for an 18 month old's attention span.

Vander definitely got a kick out of the lights and we even got to see the Mighty Mouse balloon pop up right in front of us!

We hung out around downtown for a while afterwards and got some hot cocoa (Vander's favorite) so it made it worth our while to drive that far and then we didn't have to fight against all the people leaving right after the parade.

We also made it over to the Denver Zoo lights. Again, the weather was really nice (60 degree days the day of and the day after) so it wasn't too cold for any of us. I would say that Vander liked the Zoo lights, but didn't love them. He definitely missed seeing all of the animals and wanted to stay and watch the ones you do get to see for extra long.

We have gone to the Chatfield Botanic Garden Trail of Lights before too, but we prefer to do that when it is snowing since that makes it so pretty. I don't know if we will make it this year, but two light activities is pretty good!

What holiday events do you guys like to do?

Preparations for Christmas: The Tree

We have had so much fun enjoying the holiday season and preparing for Christmas!

First up: the Christmas tree!

Since we were out in Billings for Thanksgiving we set up our tree before we left.

We put the tree one night and Vander and I enjoyed some peppermint ice cream while Dylan did the final tree fluffing.

Then a couple nights later we put on the lights and ornaments. Vander was mostly helpful but since then has enjoyed taking off and rearranging the ornaments.

We get new ornaments every year for places we got and here are the new ones we got this year:

I think next year we will have a lot more Vander designed ornaments!

Vander at 18 Months Old

Vander is officially 18 months old and this is basically the last post in terms "months!"

At his doctors appointment he was 34.5 inches tall, 95%, and 26.7 pounds, which was 60%. Of course since then I feel like he has had a growth spurt every 10 days... His feet are huge and we measured him at around a size 8.5, which is officially a preschool size, not baby/toddler size at Stride Rite.

His feet growing and general growing cause me surprising sadness. I am generally not sentimental about growing up since every new stage is so much fun and it isn't really anything to be sad about. For example I was totally happy and ready for Vander to move up to a big bed out of his crib. However, I was able to choose when that milestone occurred and I don't get to pick how big he gets and when. Dylan said Vander's feet getting so big is especially hard on me since I generally hate feet but have always loved playing with, tickling and kissing Vander's little feet and they are quickly become less tiny. 

I would say overall he eats less food at each sitting, but mostly since he wants to be running around instead. He also ate a ton of food before and from what I can see he still eats more than the average 18 month old.  His current favorite foods are sausage, hot cocoa (which adorable when he says "cocoa"), cereal, carrots, zucchini still, mac and cheese, and pasta. I say this but then he has eaten seconds or thirds at day care a lot the last couple weeks (see note on growth spurts above). 

He eats very well with his utensils and is making less of a mess each week. He loves drinking from a cup, preferably mom or dad's. He will still spill every now and then but he will pick up a cup, even a tall one, with both hands, take a little drink, set it back down for approximately 1.5 seconds and then pick it up again. 

He has sixteen teeth since he got all of his canines in the last couple months. Those sucked, but they all suck. No signs of the two year molars yet, so those will probably wait until right when the new baby comes. 

Sleep has been interesting these last three months. Vander definitely goes to bed later and overall sleeps less at night. If we put him to bed earlier he just gets up earlier. In general we have been trying to figure out the whole bedtime thing. That is probably the biggest challenge of this whole three months. We dropped the pacifier at 16 months since the two weeks before then is when the bedtime struggles started. He would throw his pacifier out of his crib and it was at least 20 minutes for him to fall asleep on his own. Even if we gave him back the pacifier he would just throw it out. Now we generally do bathtime, play in his room and read books, then do about ten minutes of "turtle time" with his turtle nightlight and then hugs and kisses and good night. We moved Vander to a big bed and have gotten him into a decent routine (which still doesn't mean he wants to go down to sleep but he usually doesn't get too mad at us when we leave).

 Vander activities include climbing everything, chatting, learning new words, wearing hats, snuggling blankets, reading books, chasing the dogs around (although he has started getting very good at petting gently), playing in any sink with water as much as possible (man I miss summer and Vander getting to play with his water table instead!), and helping mom and dad cook. He has started using his imagination more and playing with his toys on his own a lot, making noises and the whole works. He started getting very into cars and playing with his stuffed animals. 

His personality is coming through more all the time. In general I would say he takes up to 10 minutes to get comfortable at a new/less frequented place and then he is generally fine interacting with everyone and playing around. He usually love helping mom and dad with things and he loves to organize and clean. He also likes to be silly and make people laugh. He has an amazing balance of interacting very well with people but also being able to go play on his own. 

Vander is my little buddy and I love being his mommy so much. He makes my life amazing and so full of joy and new experiences.

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